Using lawyers for British nationality


The laws relating to British nationality are very complex and are frequently changing, and it is therefore highly advisable for a person applying for British citizenship to get assistance from a firm of lawyers. Let us recommend a specialist immigration lawyer to guide you through the difficult process of staying in the UK.

What is British citizenship?

There are several forms of citizens, which are divided into the following categories:

  • British citizens
  • British Overseas Territories citizens British Overseas citizens (BOC)
  • British subjects
  • British Nationals (Overseas)
  • British protected persons

British citizenship means that you will receive the same privileges and have the same obligations as those born in Britain. Once you're granted a British citizen status, you can get a British passport and you will be free to work in the UK without any restrictions. In association with this you will also attend a citizenship ceremony conceding you with the Right of Abode.

How can a lawyer help?

British nationality lawyers can assist with the sometimes difficult task of working out whether a person may already have British citizenship and making the requisite applications to obtain British citizenship if they do not.

Lawyers can help to tell you what type of British citizenship you have. If you were born in Britain to British parents then you are automatically have British citizenship – also known as otherwise than by descent.

Lawyers can help to register a child’s citizenship and advise on the necessary steps that need to be taken to keep citizenship and to gain proof that a person is British. Lawyers can also help with working out if a person has right of abode in the UK.

What if you were born outside the UK?

If you are born outside Britain to British parents then you are said to have British citizenship by descent. The different types of citizenship have repercussions in the citizenship of future offspring and you should be aware of the type of citizenship you have and the type that your children have, as failure to register certain types of British citizenship can result in a child losing their right to be British.

It is possible to become a British Citizen even though you might hold the citizenship of another country. This is called naturalisation. Once a foreign national is settled in the UK they can apply for British Citizenship provided certain criteria are met. The Home Secretary has discretion as to whether to grant British Citizenship to someone who applies.

Certain commonwealth citizens will have the right to live in the UK if they:

  • Were born to British parents
  • Married a British person before a certain year

British nationality lawyers can assist with working out whether you have the right to live in the UK. It’s a very complicated area of law, and using a specialised lawyer is highly recommended.

For more information on becoming a British Citizen as a foreign national, see our page on immigration and naturalisation.

Are you trying to obtain British citizenship or have a problem relating to an application you have already filed with the Home Office? Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist immigration lawyer to assist you with the process in coming or permanently residing in the UK. Please call us on 0800 177 7162 or complete the web-form above.

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